Morton Ann Gernsbacher named a Phi Kappa Phi Scholar

The psychology professor is honored for her work in the field of cognitive neuroscience of human communication, particularly in the area of autism.

Back to News

Morton Ann Gernsbacher, Vilas Research Professor and Sir Frederic C. Bartlett Professor of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has been selected by the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest and most selective all-discipline collegiate honor society, as the 2018-2020 Phi Kappa Phi Scholar. Gernsbacher received the award for her achievements in research, teaching, service and leadership.

An esteemed researcher and professor of more than 30 years, Gernsbacher has been recognized nationally and internationally for her achievements in the field of cognitive neuroscience of human communication. Her research focuses on typical and atypical attention and communication, including the condition of autism, using both behavioral and brain imaging methodologies.

Gernsbacher’s extensive research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, the Centers for Disease Control and several private foundations. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Society for Experimental Psychologists, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society and the American Educational Research Association.

“Morton Ann Gernsbacher is one of the most well-rounded members of the academy, with extremely strong credentials in research, teaching and university service, not least of which is her service to Phi Kappa Phi and its students,” says Dr. David Sokol, chair of the Phi Kappa Phi Scholar & Artist selection committee. “Her work in the field of autism as part of her work in human communication is both groundbreaking and profound, and it has been recognized with both financial support and honors. Her teaching has been recognized to an unusual degree for such a prolific scholar, and her service to her university and the profession has been varied and meaningful.”

Throughout her career, Gernsbacher has published over 150 journal articles and invited chapters. She has authored or edited 10 books and served as editor-in-chief of Memory & Cognition, co-editor of Psychological Science in the Public Interest, associate editor of Cognitive Psychology and nine other editorial boards.

Extending beyond her professional achievements, Gernsbacher has exemplified volunteer service through a number of executive leadership roles, including the presidencies of the Association for Psychological Science, the Society for Text and Discourse, the Division of Experimental Psychology of the American Psychological Association and the Foundation for the Advancement for Behavioral and Brain Sciences.

Gernsbacher has taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for more than 25 years. In 1998, she received the received the Hilldale Award for Distinguished Professional Accomplishment, the highest award given to University of Wisconsin-Madison faculty.

Gernsbacher received her Ph.D. in human experimental psychology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1983.

First presented in 1974, the Phi Kappa Phi Scholar Award recognizes excellence in teaching, research and public service. The award is given once every two years. Recipients receive a $1,000 honorarium, life membership and recognition citation. Gernsbacher will accept the award on August 3 at the Society’s biennial convention in Minneapolis.